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D&D General Leaning into the tropes

Doug McCrae

Legend
A D&D trope that hasn't been mentioned so far is the cleric -- the combination of heavy armour, blunt weapons, turn undead, religious office, and spells that resemble Biblical miracles. These features are a lot less pronounced now than they were in 1974. Frex some clerics in 5e don't wear heavy armour and spells are less Biblical.
 

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Doug McCrae

Legend
The D&D party, which comprises both representatives of a number of fantasy races and differing roles and abilities, is not unique to D&D but is, like Vancian magic, distinctive. The Company of the Ring in Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings comes closest, imo. The Company in The Hobbit is also quite similar as it contains a wizard, a burglar, and warriors.
 


Azuresun

Adventurer
I once used to subvert tropes and such, everything was flipped, foes became friends, monsters were your allies, yadayada.

Now? I prefer to go hard in the classic D&D-ism: obvious quest-givers, clear evil & good, big-damn adventurers, very loose medieval inspirations, magic swords in a trapped chest and all that stuff.

Comes a time when a trope has been so much subverted that its subversion itself became a trope.

The only tropes I dont tolerate a my table is cliché'ed characters: drunk scotish dwarves, stoned druids and snoby elves can stay home, you need to do better.

I hang out on a creative writing forum, and every few weeks, you'll see someone who is convinced they're a literary genius because their work doesn't involve tropes (which is impossible), or because they've inverted a trope in a way that's so well-trodden it's become its own cliche (spunky ass-kicking princess, Noble Savage orcs vs evul racist humans, etc).
 

tommybahama

Adventurer
OK. I'm seeing a Glaive and a . . . Poleaxe?
What about those weapons gives the impression that their effectiveness is not based on the athleticism of the wielder, and the force that they can exert through the haft to maneuver it rapidly and strike hard.

Its hard to tell with the one in blue, but the other person in the picture certainly seems to be quite muscular and athletic.

I think you are missing the point. Having finesse polearm with reach would be a welcomed option in a fantasy setting.

Beyond that, leaping into the air to bypass an opponents defense to deliver a slashing attack is more of a dexterity move than brute strength. I think a strength based fighter would remain grounded so he could better leverage his strength mechanically (rotating from the hips, etc.) to cleave through her defenses.
 

Democratus

Adventurer
I think you are missing the point. Having finesse polearm with reach would be a welcomed option in a fantasy setting.

Beyond that, leaping into the air to bypass an opponents defense to deliver a slashing attack is more of a dexterity move than brute strength. I think a strength based fighter would remain grounded so he could better leverage his strength mechanically (rotating from the hips, etc.) to cleave through her defenses.
Isn't strength exclusively used for leaping?
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I once used to subvert tropes and such, everything was flipped, foes became friends, monsters were your allies, yadayada.

Now? I prefer to go hard in the classic D&D-ism: obvious quest-givers, clear evil & good, big-damn adventurers, very loose medieval inspirations, magic swords in a trapped chest and all that stuff.

Comes a time when a trope has been so much subverted that its subversion itself became a trope.

The only tropes I dont tolerate a my table is cliché'ed characters: drunk scotish dwarves, stoned druids and snoby elves can stay home, you need to do better.

Whenever I have a druid NPC I keep telling myself "don't play a stoner ... don't play a stoner ..." the first thing out of my mouth is "Dude ..." in classic stoner tones. :blush:
 



Arvok

Explorer
The 13th Trope of D&D

No matter what the cultural inspiration or level of technology, there must always be a bewildering array of trivially different Polearms.
I like your post with the caveat that those differences are only trivial in-game. In the real world there were dozens of varieties of polearms because each filled a different niche--not enough of a difference to be worth differentiating in a game that simulates combat and (by design) oversimplifies certain things to make game play more fun, but differences that weren't trivial in real life.

I get your point, though.
 

Arvok

Explorer
Whenever I have a druid NPC I keep telling myself "don't play a stoner ... don't play a stoner ..." the first thing out of my mouth is "Dude ..." in classic stoner tones. :blush:
I know a girl who plays a druid with a sort of Luna Lovegood vibe--more of a hippie who did maybe one too many hits of acid instead of a stoner. It's very effective and amusing, as she plays her character as someone who is mostly oblivious to the most basic norms of society while still being observant. She picks up on body language and things like that but not what people are saying.
 

Arvok

Explorer
The trope that people generally "pick on somebody their own size".

The PCs aren't confronted by a 20th level necromancer when they're 1st level. Also, the local ruler's call for help is against an opponent that will challenge the party but won't TPK them (unless they behave stupidly).
 



I think you are missing the point. Having finesse polearm with reach would be a welcomed option in a fantasy setting.
Yes, I can see the appeal from a character optimisation point of view. - Dex is a very powerful stat and being able to attack with a more powerful weapon using it rather than having to allocate points to Strength would be a boost.

Beyond that, leaping into the air to bypass an opponents defense to deliver a slashing attack is more of a dexterity move than brute strength. I think a strength based fighter would remain grounded so he could better leverage his strength mechanically (rotating from the hips, etc.) to cleave through her defenses.
I think there may be confusion between the general english meaning of finesse, and the actual game term for the 5e mechanic.
In 5e D&D Dex covers grace, balance and reflexes. Whereas Strength covers athleticism and force. A fighter using their strength might absolutely use it to push through a weaker opponent's guard, but they might also use the superior control and speed of weapon granted by that strength to outmaneuver their opponent by cutting around their guard faster than they can reposition, or to leap to attack from an unexpected angle.

In game terms, yes. But acrobatics includes leaping.
No, that is Athletics in 5e.
In real terms, acrobatics certainly involves leaping. However it also requires a lot of strength. Just like many athletic activities use balance, reflexes and grace.
 

At some point we got too cool for school.

I am still down with evil and good being forces that interact with magic items and the planes.

I am still down with dudes wearing holy symbols of the gods—-not just following a philosophy.

I am still down with evil monsters and greedy dwarves. All in.

never got enlightened and or jaded enough to hate pouchfulls of gems and smoky seedy inns. Never resented it never tired of it. The tropes have served me just fine for more than 3 decades.

no shame, no apology
 

Do you embrace D&Disms in your D&D games? If so, how does it change (if at all) between editions? Are there D&Disms you just can't abide, or love and bring to other games?
In my experience, it just depends on the table and players. Some campaigns I have been a part of are trope heavy with all the requirements you laid out. Those have a tendency to finish (my experience). The non-trope campaigns seem to meander from being the greatest thing ever and then losing focus at consistent intervals, and then fizzling out.
I should note: Some of these campaigns have been with the same players and DMs. So it is a mixed bag and not necessarily DM or player reliant.
But, the trope heavy seems be able to construct a more settled world that players want to inhabit for longer periods of time.

PS - Editions have never mattered in this regard. My experiences have played out across all editions, from 2nd to 5th.
 

The only tropes I dont tolerate a my table is cliché'ed characters: drunk scotish dwarves, stoned druids and snoby elves can stay home, you need to do better.
This always intrigues me. Someone who tolerates and embraces some tropes, but then tells these three tropes to do better. I mean, honestly, if a player felt like playing a stoned druid, can't they? Does it ruin the game that much for you? Or were you just being hyperbolic?
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
This always intrigues me. Someone who tolerates and embraces some tropes, but then tells these three tropes to do better. I mean, honestly, if a player felt like playing a stoned druid, can't they? Does it ruin the game that much for you? Or were you just being hyperbolic?
Oh I was exaggerating, indeed.

I dont really mind those if they come naturally and you do those in a game or two.

But yeah, a friend of mine is playing his 3rd stoner druid in a row (in a bout 1 year and a half)...so yeah, its getting a little long in the nose. I wont stop him from playing his 4th one...but I may throw some stuff a him yelling '''boohhhh''.
 


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